Tens of thousands of developers are working with Drupal today, and many of them contribute back to the project. Albeit different, neither Joomla nor Drupal are exclusively a volunteer-run project, and that is one of the reasons we've grown so big.
Volunteers rally together at times when they're needed, and they play a critical role, particularly in the beginning. Without them, we would be nowhere in the open source software industry. Over time the maintenance and operation and in some cases the leadership are transferred to paid personnel. We have to accept into our projects those with commercial interests, without capitulating to rigid and narrow commercial interests.
The commercialization of a volunteer-driven open source project is part of a project's natural lifecycle. While it can be a significant change, it's not something about which we should worry.
Dries Buytaert is the CTO and co-founder of Acquia, a commercial open source software company providing products, services, and technical support for the open source Drupal publishing and collaboration platform. He is also the original creator of Drupal.
This article, "Commercialization of volunteer-driven open source projects," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Rodrigues et al.'s Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com.